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Emmys 2020: 'Even If It's A Train Wreck, That'll Be Good TV'

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Emmy statue outside the 2016 Emmy Awards in L.A. (Angeles Weiss /AFP via Getty Image)
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At the Emmys this Sunday, the TV industry will attempt to pull off the first big awards event of the COVID era — as a live, socially distanced, global broadcast.

Since the TV Academy wouldn’t give the Emmy producers the names of the winners in advance, they had to create a production plan that would allow them to capture the reactions of everyone in real time. They are deploying more than 140 camera crews across multiple time zones in the U.S. and overseas, including in Berlin, Tel Aviv and the UK.

“Even if it’s a train wreck, that’ll be good TV,” The Hollywood Reporter’s Rebecca Keegan told A Martinez, who hosts our newsroom's culture and local news show Take Two this week.

Jimmy Kimmel will serve as the emcee from downtown Los Angeles inside a largely vacant Staples Center. That location was chosen because it is big enough for the crew to be able to keep an appropriate distance from each other while handling all the data coming in and going out from those camera crews.

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The task of creating cohesion in the midst of potential chaos falls on Kimmel. Fortunately he knows how to handle an unpredictable awards show, says Keegan.

Kimmel hosted the infamous year of “envelopegate” at the Academy Awards:

So he’s a guy who has experience rolling with it when things go wrong. I have faith that he knows what to do when one of these 140 camera crews maybe can’t get the shot that he’s waiting for.

The Emmys air live on ABC, Sunday Sept. 20 at 5 p.m. Pacific.

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